A Yeti Airlines aircraft has skidded off the recently repaired runway at Nepal's only international airport on Friday July 12th, according to authorities, AFP reported.
Officials confirmed that the airport was closed Friday July 12th, as teams were working to remove the plane and reopen the airport.
The airport's general manager Raj Kumar Chettri told said that removing the Franco-Italian-made turboprop plane was taking a long time because heavy rain has made the area muddy.
The Yeti Airlines ATR 72-500, arriving into Kathmandu from southern Nepal with 66 passengers, skidded about 15 metres (50 feet) into the grass.
“All 68 passengers, 66 adults and two infants, and four flight crew members onboard are safe and have been evacuated.” Yeti Airlines posted on Facebook on Friday.
Nepali airlines are banned from European Union airspace, as the country has a poor flight safety record, and its airports are difficult to land in.
Authorities took 11 hours to remove a domestic aircraft that suffered a similar runway skid in September last year, months after a Malaysian jet with 139 people on board had aborted its takeoff and skidded off the runway.
In March 2018, a US-Bangla Airways plane crashed near the airport, killing 51 people.
Nepal, in the high Himalayas, has among the world’s trickiest and most remote runways, surrounded by snow-topped mountain peaks, which are regarded as offering a serious challenge for even the best airline pilots.